pardus orientalis) the world's rarest cat
subspecies is especially distinctive due to a
particularly pale coat compared to most other
subspecies, and dark rosettes which are large and
widely spaced with thick, unbroken rings. Fur
color changes from reddish yellow in summer to
light yellow during winter. To help the cat stay
warm, the length of its fur can vary between one
and three inches, depending on the time of year.
The Amur leopard also has longer legs than other
leopards, allowing it to walk in snow with
Males weigh between 110 and 120 pounds, and
females between 65 and 75 pounds. Body length
averages about 4-5 feet.
The Amur leopard is only found
along the border between Russia and China,
specifically along the Amur River. It prefers in
temperate forest habitats which experience a wide
range of variability in temperature and
precipitation but is known to adapt to almost any
habitat that provides it with sufficient food and
Habits and Behaviors
Females maintain home
ranges that range in size from 15 to 38 square
miles, while males can have territories as large
as 155 square miles. Aside from mating and
territorial disputes, individual Amur leopards
rarely interact with one another.
This big cat doesn't growl like other
predatory animals, instead it uses a distinctive
rasping call as its main vocalization.
The Amur leopard preys
primarily on roe and sika deer, hares, badgers,
mice, and other small mammals, but is quite
capable to taking down animals up to three times
its size. It prefers to ambush its prey, dropping
out of a tree and seizing it by the throat, but
will also stalk an animal to within a few yards
before striking. A very muscular and fit animal,
a leopard can easily carry its kill into a tree,
which it often does to keep it safe from other
Breeding can occur year round, but is most
common in January and February. One to four cubs
are born after a gestation period of 90-105 days.
The cubs' open eyes at about 10 days, they are
weaned at 3 about months, and are independent at
18-24 months. Sexual maturity is reached at about
3 years, and lifespan is 10-15 years in the wild.
Considered the world's rarest
cat, only 25-40 Amur leopards are known to exist
in the wild. Amur leopards are often hunted for
their beautiful pelts, and are also killed by
farmers who have lost livestock to predators.
Habitat loss has also contributed to the Amur
genus & species Panthera pardus
Oregon Zoo http://www.oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/amur-leopard
Wildlife Conservation Society http://www.wcs.org/saving-wildlife/big-cats/amur-leopard.aspx
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